Last night I went for my first properly dark run of the autumn. By the time I got home from work it wasn't dusk or twilight anymore, it was just dark.
I don't like running in the dark, it means that I can't run my normal routes along single track country lanes because there is absolutely no street lighting out there and many potholes! I am rather fond of having two ankles that function reasonably well most of the time and see no reason to increase the chances of breaking one, or both of them. Winter evening running means a change of route, I have to turn left, not right, as I leave my road and towards town. This at least guarantees me pavements and street lighting for most of the route.
But I still want to be seen. I'd rather not become a hood ornament on a 4x4, so I make sure that I am wearing a neon yellow top with reflective stripes and that I have a head torch. My new one is rather clever in that it has a red light at the back as well as an exceedingly bright white one at the front. I don't like wearing a head torch - it feels odd, and my field of vision is constricted to the illuminated beam directly in front of me, but I'd rather be safe.
Last night's run won't go down as one of my best ever. I am pretty sure that one shouldn't wheeze while running, but the remnants of the 'flu are obviously still with me. Still, I'd had a stressful day at work and mentally felt far better after my run than before.
I ran 4 miles and in that time saw four people riding bicycles without lights. I know that a lot of cyclists complain about inconsiderate drivers, but these four (who were all adults) really do give cyclists a bad name! I am sure they would be most upset if they were hit by a car. I was moving a lot slower than a car and almost ran into a cyclist stopped at a junction. I thought lights on a bicycle were a legal requirement after dark, but maybe I am wrong. If they aren't required by law then common sense says it is pretty obvious that they are sensible! Mind you, none of these people were wearing cycling helmets either....